The ABS has released fortnightly data on payroll jobs, which reveals that jobs have fallen:
- 1.3% in the fortnight up to 28 August 2021; and
- 0.4% in the previous fortnight (to 14 August 2021).
As expected, falls have been driven by the lockdown jurisdictions of Victoria, NSW and the ACT:
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Specifically, the largest shares of fall in payroll jobs in the fortnight up to 28 August 2021:
- Victoria, with 54.4% of total losses
- New South Wales, with 34.2% of total losses
- Australian Capital Territory, with 9.3% of total losses
Separate quarterly data from the ABS reveals that casuals have borne the brunt of job losses:
In August 2021, total hours worked by casual employees were 84.8% of their pre-COVID February 2020 levels. Hours worked by employees with paid leave entitlements and owner managers were also below their February 2020 levels, but to a lesser extent (97.9% and 91.9%).
In August 2021, the number of casual employees was 92.4% of the February 2020 level, which was above the low of May 2020 (when it was 79.4%). Employment also decreased for employees with paid leave entitlements and owner managers between May and August 2021, but both remained higher than in February 2020.
Obviously, casuals dominate the sectors most impacted by lockdowns, such as retail, hospitality and tourism.